The world over, people celebrate the dawn of the new year. So, it has been this year too. 2018 was born amid much fanfare and celebration. But India maintains its rich traditional and cultural pride, by welcoming the new year with a colourful and exciting January.
All over the country, people of different religions and regions are preparing for their festivities. Here are some festivals that will sustain the gaiety in India for the month of January.
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One celebration that will unite the whole country with fervour and passion is the Republic Day. On 26th January, the tricolour will fly high all over the country, as children and adults alike will honour the adoption of Indian Constitution in 1950. A grand parade of India’s rich heritage and military strength will be held in Delhi.
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Celebrated all over northern India to herald the beginning of warmer days, after a cold winter, Lohri is a colourful festival with music, beats, and dance. Dhol is the main instrument. It is also accompanied by delicacies like gajak and revdi. 2018 will celebrate Lohri on 18th January.
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A south Indian version of Thanksgiving, Pongal is a celebration accompanied with making Rangoli, eating a sweet preparation of Sakkaraipongal and family get togethers. There is also a tradition of Jallikatu or bull fighting in Tamil Nadu. Pongal is celebrated from 13th to 16th January.
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Vasant Panchami is a visual treat, with the local folks dressed in bright colours like yellow. People come together to worship Goddess Saraswati, and welcome the onset of spring. People cook sweet rice and boondiladoos at home. In 2018, Vasant Panchami will be celebrated on 22nd January.
Jaipur Literature Festival
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One of the most important literary events in Asia, the JaipurLitFest is a great place for book lovers. You can get to meet some of the best authors, and interact with the community of Indian writers writing in English. You can hear their lectures and panel discussions for free at the Diggi Palace in Jaipur. The litfest is organised from 24th to 29th January.
Bikaner Camel Festival
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From decorating innumerable camels in their finest attire to fun activities like camel beauty pageants, camel races, and camel dancing, the creature of the desert is celebrated here. You cannot imagine a desert without a camel, and it is a source of much sustenance to the desert dwellers. It is celebrated in Bikaner on 13th and 14th January.
Chennai Music Festival
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A month-long festival, the Chennai Music Festival is also described as the world’s largest cultural event as it stages and highlights the traditional South Indian Carnatic music, dance, and other arts. During the whole month, more than 1,000 performances take place along with music related seminars, discussions, and demonstrations. Artists perform across different auditoriums of Chennai from mid- December to mid- January.
Modhera Dance Festival
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This cultural fiesta is held against the backdrop of the ancient Sun Temple of Modhera, built in the 11th century. Over three days from 19th to 21st January, artists from all over the country come forth to present their dance performance. It is microcosm of Indian culture. Close to Modhera, the Rannutsav celebrations are also ongoing in January.
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Situated 30 km from Shantiniketan in West Bengal, is a site called Kenduli where the wandering Baul musicians of the state gather. Dressed in saffron, these mystic monks cum musicians, play the one-stringed ektara and sing about the philosophy of life. The site and sound are enough to beckon any traveller to Kenduli from 14th to 16th January.
While some may still be in the thrall of New Year festivities, India is already prepared for a season of celebration in January.
Read Also: Winter Festivals Around India
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